The effect of the vestibular stimulation program on improving functions for children with autism

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The effect of the vestibular stimulation program on improving functions for children with autism


Author: Yeung, Wai-yee
Title: The effect of the vestibular stimulation program on improving functions for children with autism
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2010
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Autism in children -- Treatment.
Sensorimotor integration -- Therapeutic use
Department: Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences
Pages: 39 leaves : ill. ; 31 cm.
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of a vestibular stimulation program on improving functions of children with autism. Children aged 7 to 8 diagnosed with autism were recruited to participate in this study through child development centers and schools. Their parents were asked to fill out a basic information sheet to gather these children's demographic data and the Sensory Integration Functional Scale (SIFS-感覺統合檢核表), after signing the consent letters. A phone interview was taken to obtain missing information or extra information when it was needed. After screening the results, thirteen subjects who fulfilled the inclusion and exclusion criteria were selected. The SIFS and clinical observations (including prone extension, supine flexion and post-rotary nystagmus tests) were carried out by an occupational therapist and the occupational therapy students as helpers prior to and after the treatment. After the initial treatment, the subjects received the intervention. Each child attended a 5-minute warm up session prior to the treatment. The intervention sessions lasted 45 minutes. They attended twice a week for a total of4 weeks. The content of the intervention included warm up activities, a vestibular stimulation program and cool down activities. In each lesson, there was one take-home exercise that their caretakers would help to carry out and keep simple record. After the 4-week period, post assessments were performed. From the results, there was significant improvement in the overall SIFS scores after the treatment (F =12.80, p = 0.02). The results also showed that in areas of sensory discrimination, sensory modulation, attention and activity level, and motor planning, there were significant improvements after the program. It could be concluded that the vestibular stimulation program may be able to help improve sensory processing, attention and functions for children with autism. The treatment is postulated to primarily impact on a person's orientation, arousal and attention, which, in turn, enhance functions.

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